The Wright Attitude Shoppe in a Shed
At John Wright’s new Erin antiques outpost, artwork and chairs hung on pegs fill every inch of wall and English-country vignettes cover the floor.
The latest iteration of John Wright’s patrician-yet-rustic antique shop is a fantasy space tucked into a driveshed behind his Erin home. Artwork and chairs hung on pegs fill every inch of wall. Chic English-country vignettes of set tables and armchairs paired with just the right lamp cover the floor. This is his fourth retail outpost – the Erin native started filling weekend and summer storefronts in Erin a quarter century ago. John moved to this leafy locale from his Main Street location, The Annex, this summer. He’s currently open Friday to Sunday, noon to five.
Owner: John Wright
How he started: While John has no formal training, antiques are his lifeblood. He was a Canadian Airlines customer service representative for 35 years, retiring in 2001 after Air Canada took over the airline. “When I was growing up my parents had nice antiques and furniture. I used to dabble in garage sales, and 25 years ago I started my first shop, a weekend shop, called the Wright Attitude.”
His first purchase: “I used to hang around with the painter and antiques dealer, Lillian Milne, who had an antique shop in Cheltenham when I was in my 20s. A wild, wild woman. Flame-red hair, always a cigarette holder with a butt in it. I bought china pieces from her and I still have them.”
Best known for: “People ask me if anyone buys crystal and silver anymore, and I say that I think I’m the only one! I also seem to have a passion for chairs – I have a lot of them. They’re easy to recover. I like brass candlesticks, art and I do like lamps.”
A recent find: “A little dark wood dresser with moustache handles. I’m liking it a lot. That’s an auction find.”
What he’ll never part with: “I have my mother’s sofa that was originally in Casa Loma. It’s now got leopard print upholstery. It’s a great big Victorian thing.”
Pro tips: “I send a lot of people to Paul Noonan of Paul Noonan’s Antiques in Alma, Ontario. He’s been in the antiques business since he was a teenager. I also send people up to Orangeville Flowers. They are amazing buyers. Their displays are fabulous.”
His new normal: John says he’s thankful visitors are returning. In the new shop, physical distancing, masks and hand sanitizer are de rigueur.
@johnwright.thewrightattitude on Instagram